Understanding End Times: The Red Dragon

The End Times series can be found HERE. We recently did an overview of the main characters of the End Times. This week, we look more closely at the Red Dragon, or Satan.

THE RED DRAGON SERMON SLIDES

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THE RED DRAGON SERMON

THE LADY AND THE DRAGON

As you read Revelation 12, it’s important to understand who the pregnant lady and the red dragon are:

  • The Pregnant Lady represents the nation of Israel. She is preparing to give birth to Jesus.
  • The Red Dragon represents Satan.

Satan was defeated in heaven, cast out by God, and has now turned his attention to us.

UNDERSTANDING THE NATURE OF SATAN

Now the serpent was more crafty than any of the wild animals the Lord God had made. He said to the woman, “Did God really say, ‘You must not eat from any tree in the garden’?”

Genesis 3:1

Remember, the serpent was created by God, as was Satan. What was created is never more powerful than The Creator.

But I am afraid that just as Eve was deceived by the serpent’s cunning, your minds may somehow be led astray from your sincere and pure devotion to Christ.

2 Corinthians 11:3

But, brothers and sisters, when we were orphaned by being separated from you for a short time (in person, not in thought), out of our intense longing we made every effort to see you. For we wanted to come to you—certainly I, Paul, did, again and again—but Satan blocked our way.

1 Thessalonians 2:17-18

The devil accuses us before God of our sins. He tries to get God to stop loving us. God’s love is not based on who we are. It’s based on who He is.

The devil accuses us of our sins, making us feel unworthy. He wants us to believe God doesn’t love us anymore. 

The devil throws obstacles in our path, especially when we step out in obedience to God, in an effort to discourage us.

Be alert and of sober mind. Your enemy the devil prowls around like a roaring lion looking for someone to devour.

1 Peter 5:8

Satan will attack our character, our influence, our confidence, and our relationships. 

Submit yourselves, then, to God. Resist the devil, and he will flee from you. Come near to God and he will come near to you. Wash your hands, you sinners, and purify your hearts, you double-minded.

James 4:7-8

Understanding End Times: The Main Characters

The End Times series can be found HERE. The main characters of any saga can make or break a story. The main characters of the end times are impactful, and this story is all true.

MAIN CHARACTERS SERMON SLIDES

MAIN CHARACTERS SERMON

THE GOOD GUYS OF THE END TIMES

Then I saw in the right hand of him who sat on the throne a scroll with writing on both sides and sealed with seven seals.

Revelation 5:1

Then I saw a Lamb, looking as if it had been slain, standing at the center of the throne, encircled by the four living creatures and the elders. The Lamb had seven horns and seven eyes, which are the seven spirits of God sent out into all the earth.

Revelation 5:6

Then I saw a Lamb, looking as if it had been slain, standing at the center of the throne, encircled by the four living creatures and the elders. The Lamb had seven horns and seven eyes, which are the seven spirits of God sent out into all the earth.

Revelation 5:6

“Do not harm the land or the sea or the trees until we put a seal on the foreheads of the servants of our God.” Then I heard the number of those who were sealed: 144,000 from all the tribes of Israel.

Revelation 7:3-4

And I will appoint my two witnesses, and they will prophesy for 1,260 days, clothed in sackcloth.” 4They are “the two olive trees” and the two lampstands, and “they stand before the Lord of the earth.”

Revelation 11:3-4

The seventh angel sounded his trumpet, and there were loud voices in heaven, which said: “The kingdom of the world has become the kingdom of our Lord and of his Messiah, and he will reign for ever and ever.”

Revelation 11:15

A great sign appeared in heaven: a woman clothed with the sun, with the moon under her feet and a crown of twelve stars on her head. She was pregnant and cried out in pain as she was about to give birth.

Revelation 12:1-2

THE BAD GUYS OF THE END TIMES

Then another sign appeared in heaven: an enormous red dragon with seven heads and ten horns and seven crowns on its heads.

Revelation 12:3

The dragon stood on the shore of the sea. And I saw a beast coming out of the sea. It had ten horns and seven heads, with ten crowns on its horns, and on each head a blasphemous name.

Revelation 13:1

Then I saw a second beast, coming out of the earth. It had two horns like a lamb, but it spoke like a dragon.

Revelation 13:11

Its tail swept a third of the stars out of the sky and flung them to the earth. The dragon stood in front of the woman who was about to give birth, so that it might devour her child the moment he was born.

Revelation 12:4

One of the seven angels who had the seven bowls came and said to me, “Come, I will show you the punishment of the great prostitute, who sits by many waters. 2With her the kings of the earth committed adultery, and the inhabitants of the earth were intoxicated with the wine of her adulteries.”

Revelation 17:1-2

WHAT DOES THE FALSE PROPHET DO?

#1 – He directs people to worship the anti-Christ. (Rev. 13:12)

#2 – He directs people to give their allegiance to the anti-Christ. (Rev. 13:16)

#3 – He directs people to give their livelivhood to the anti-Christ. (Rev. 13:17-18)

3 QUESTIONS TO ASK TO IDENTIFY A FALSE TEACHER:

#1 – What does this teacher say about Jesus? (Matt. 16:15-16; 1 John 2:22-23)

#2 – Does this teacher preach the gospel? (1 Corin. 15:1-4; Galatians 1:9)

#3 – Does this teacher practice what they teach? (Matt. 7:15-20)

BIG TAKEAWAY:

We must put God’s truth above public opinion and personal preference.

Understanding End Times: The Tribulation

The End Times series can be found HERE. In Part 4 of this series, we discuss the period of time between the Rapture of the church and the Second Coming of Christ.

TRIBULATION SERMON SLIDES

THE TRIBULATION

WHAT IS THE PURPOSE OF THE TRIBULATION?

#1 - God's final discipline of His chosen people.

While I was speaking and praying, confessing my sin and the sin of my people Israel and making my request to the Lord my God for his holy hill— while I was still in prayer, Gabriel, the man I had seen in the earlier vision, came to me in swift flight about the time of the evening sacrifice. He instructed me and said to me, “Daniel, I have now come to give you insight and understanding. As soon as you began to pray, a word went out, which I have come to tell you, for you are highly esteemed. Therefore, consider the word and understand the vision: “Seventy ‘sevens’ are decreed for your people and your holy city to finish transgression, to put an end to sin, to atone for wickedness, to bring in everlasting righteousness, to seal up vision and prophecy and to anoint the Most Holy Place.

Daniel 9:20-24

#2 - God's continued offer of grace to the world.

Then one of the elders asked me, “These in white robes—who are they, and where did they come from?” I answered, “Sir, you know.” And he said, “These are they who have come out of the great tribulation; they have washed their robes and made them white in the blood of the Lamb.

Revelation 7:13-14

#3 - God's judgment of the world's sin.

The nations were angry, and your wrath has come. The time has come for judging the dead, and for rewarding your servants the prophets and your people who revere your name, both great and small— and for destroying those who destroy the earth.”

Revelation 11:18

#4 - God's fulfillment of His Son's promised return.

“Look, I am coming soon! My reward is with me, and I will give to each person according to what they have done. I am the Alpha and the Omega, the First and the Last, the Beginning and the End.

Revelation 22:12-13

HOW LONG DOES THE TRIBULATION PERIOD LAST?

Alas for that day! For the day of the Lord is near; it will come like destruction from the Almighty.

Joel 1:15

The tribulation will last seven years, and is divided into two equal periods.

“Seventy ‘sevens’ are decreed for your people and your holy city to finish transgression, to put an end to sin, to atone for wickedness, to bring in everlasting righteousness, to seal up vision and prophecy and to anoint the Most Holy Place. “Know and understand this: From the time the word goes out to restore and rebuild Jerusalem until the Anointed One, the ruler, comes, there will be seven ‘sevens,’ and sixty-two ‘sevens.’ It will be rebuilt with streets and a trench, but in times of trouble. After the sixty-two ‘sevens,’ the Anointed One will be put to death and will have nothing. The people of the ruler who will come will destroy the city and the sanctuary. The end will come like a flood: War will continue until the end, and desolations have been decreed. He will confirm a covenant with many for one ‘seven.’

Daniel 9:24-27

WHAT EVENTS HAPPEN DURING THE TRIBULATION?

Seal #1 - The anti-Christ rises to power.

I watched as the Lamb opened the first of the seven seals. Then I heard one of the four living creatures say in a voice like thunder, “Come!” I looked, and there before me was a white horse! Its rider held a bow, and he was given a crown, and he rode out as a conqueror bent on conquest.

Revelation 6:1-2

Seal #2 - The coming of world-wide war.

When the Lamb opened the second seal, I heard the second living creature say, “Come!” Then another horse came out, a fiery red one. Its rider was given power to take peace from the earth and to make people kill each other. To him was given a large sword.

Revelation 6:3-4

Seal #3 - The coming of a global famine.

When the Lamb opened the third seal, I heard the third living creature say, “Come!” I looked, and there before me was a black horse! Its rider was holding a pair of scales in his hand. Then I heard what sounded like a voice among the four living creatures, saying, “Two pounds of wheat for a day’s wages, and six pounds of barley for a day’s wages, and do not damage the oil and the wine!”

Revelation 6:5-6

Seal #4 - Death affects everybody.

When the Lamb opened the fourth seal, I heard the voice of the fourth living creature say, “Come!” I looked, and there before me was a pale horse! Its rider was named Death, and Hades was following close behind him. They were given power over a fourth of the earth to kill by sword, famine and plague, and by the wild beasts of the earth.

Revelation 6:7-8

Seal #5 - World-wide attack on Christians.

When he opened the fifth seal, I saw under the altar the souls of those who had been slain because of the word of God and the testimony they had maintained. They called out in a loud voice, “How long, Sovereign Lord, holy and true, until you judge the inhabitants of the earth and avenge our blood?” Then each of them was given a white robe, and they were told to wait a little longer, until the full number of their fellow servants, their brothers and sisters, were killed just as they had been.

Revelation 6:9-11

Seal #6 - World-changing natural disasters.

I watched as he opened the sixth seal. There was a great earthquake. The sun turned black like sackcloth made of goat hair, the whole moon turned blood red, and the stars in the sky fell to earth, as figs drop from a fig tree when shaken by a strong wind. The heavens receded like a scroll being rolled up, and every mountain and island was removed from its place. Then the kings of the earth, the princes, the generals, the rich, the mighty, and everyone else, both slave and free, hid in caves and among the rocks of the mountains. They called to the mountains and the rocks, “Fall on us and hide us from the face of him who sits on the throne and from the wrath of the Lamb! For the great day of their wrath has come, and who can withstand it?”

Revelation 6:12-17

Seal #7 - The trumpets are about to sound.

When he opened the seventh seal, there was silence in heaven for about half an hour. And I saw the seven angels who stand before God, and seven trumpets were given to them.

Revelation 8:1-2

WHAT DOES THIS ALL MEAN FOR US TODAY?

#1 – When we know the truth and live the truth, what is false will be apparent and avoidable.

#2 – Our actions have consequences.

#3 – Following Jesus is not easy, but He is worth it.

Understanding End Times: The Second Coming

The End Times series can be found HERE. In Part 3 of this series, we discuss the Second Coming of Christ.

THE SECOND COMING SLIDES

THE SECOND COMING SERMON

3 THINGS JESUS WILL ACCOMPLISH IN HIS SECOND COMING

Jesus will have absolute victory over His enemies:

  • Victory over the armies of the earth
  • Victory over the beast & false prophet
  • Victory over Satan…the dragon

He will have unquestionable authority over all creation:

  • No one is above the authority of Jesus.
  • God is in control; nothing surprises Him.
  • Not everything is completely revealed.

He will exercise righteous judgment over everyone:

  • Satan, beast, and false prophet
  • Unbelievers – great white throne
  • Believers – bema seat of Jesus

PERSONAL TAKEAWAYS

#1 – We are assured victory when we allow Jesus to fight our battles.

#2 – God is God and I am not, so I should give Him complete control of my life.

#3 – No one escapes the judgment of God, but today we can still decide the verdict.

Understanding End Times: The Rapture

The End Times series can be found HERE. In Part 2 of this series discusses the difference between the Rapture and the Second Coming, and focuses on specific details of the Rapture.

THE RAPTURE SERMON SLIDES

THE RAPTURE

THE RAPTURE V. SECOND COMING

The Rapture is the time Jesus returns to earth FOR His people.

Believers will meet Jesus in the air. (1 Thess. 4:17)

It will occur before the Tribulation period. (Rev. 3:10; 1 Thess. 5:9)

It’s the removal of believers from eart has an act of deliverance. (1 Thess. 4:13-17; 5:9-11)

It will be in secret and instant. (1 Corin. 15:50-54)

It is imminent, and could happen at any moment. (Titus 2:11-13; 1 Thess. 4:13-18)

The Second Coming is the time Jesus returns to earth WITH His people.

Believers return with the Lord to the earth. (Rev. 19:11-14)

It will occur after the Tribulation period. (Rev. 19:11-16)

It’s the removal of unbelievers from earth as an act of judgment. (Rev. 20:11-15)

It will be visible to the entire world. (Rev. 1:7; Matt. 24:29-30)

It will not occur until certain events happen. (Matt. 24:15-20; Rev. 6:18)

PERSONAL TAKEAWAYS

  1. God has made a way out; we must choose to take it.
  2. If, in the end, we have not chose Jesus, it will not matter what we have chosen instead.

THREE TRUTHS FROM JESUS ABOUT THE RAPTURE

“Do not let your hearts be troubled. You believe in God ; believe also in me. My Father’s house has many rooms; if that were not so, would I have told you that I am going there to prepare a place for you? And if I go and prepare a place for you, I will come back and take you to be with me that you also may be where I am.

John 14:1-3

TRUTH: THE RAPTURE IS A GREAT SOURCE OF HOPE FOR US.

When he had led them out to the vicinity of Bethany, he lifted up his hands and blessed them. While he was blessing them, he left them and was taken up into heaven. Then they worshiped him and returned to Jerusalem with great joy.

Luke 24:50-52

After he said this, he was taken up before their very eyes, and a cloud hid him from their sight. They were looking intently up into the sky as he was going, when suddenly two men dressed in white stood beside them. “Men of Galilee,” they said, “why do you stand here looking into the sky? This same Jesus, who has been taken from you into heaven, will come back in the same way you have seen him go into heaven.”

Acts 1:9-11

TRUTH: THE RAPTURE IS FOR HIS CHURCH.

Since you have kept my command to endure patiently, I will also keep you from the hour of trial that is going to come on the whole world to test the inhabitants of the earth. I am coming soon. Hold on to what you have, so that no one will take your crown.

Revelation 3:10-11

TRUTH: THE RAPTURE IS AN INTENTIONAL RESCUE.

WHAT DOES ALL THIS MEAN FOR US TODAY?

  • Our greatest comfort comes from knowing that God is in control.
  • Our greatest compassion comes from telling other about God when lives are out of control.

Understanding End Times: Overview of Revelation

Our study of the End Times begins with an overview of the book of Revelation. This study is an overview for awareness and application in our lives, rather than an in-depth study of irrefutable timelines for the return of Christ.

OVERVIEW OF REVELATION SERMON SLIDES

OVERVIEW OF REVELATION

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WHAT TO EXPECT FROM THIS SERIES

This series is an overview for awareness and application of God’s truth in our lives.

This series is not an exhaustible study of irrefutable timelines for the return of Christ.

The revelation from Jesus Christ, which God gave him to show his servants what must soon take place. He made it known by sending his angel to his servant John, who testifies to everything he saw—that is, the word of God and the testimony of Jesus Christ.

Revelation 1:1-2

Revelation means a disclosure of truth, to lay open that which has been veiled.

The purpose of the book: an unveiling of the person, plan, and power of Jesus Christ.

Soon takes place means it will happen quickly and it could happen at any time.

John the author: the apostle John was exiled to the island of Patmos by the Romans.

SECTIONS OF REVELATION

  1. Revelation 2-3: The Seven Churches
  2. Revelation 4-5: The Rapture/Heaven
  3. Revelation 6-19: The Tribulation Period
  4. Revelation 19-20: The Battle of Armageddon
  5. Revelation 20: The Millennial Reign
  6. Revelation 20: Facing the Judgments
  7. Revelation 21-22: New Heaven & New Earth

WHAT DID PAUL SAY ABOUT THE END TIMES?

People will turn away from Christianity.

The Spirit clearly says that in later times some will abandon the faith and follow deceiving spirits and things taught by demons.

1 Timothy 4:1

Christians will settle for a watered-down faith.

For the time will come when people will not put up with sound doctrine. Instead, to suit their own desires, they will gather around them a great number of teachers to say what their itching ears want to hear. They will turn their ears away from the truth and turn aside to myths.

2 Timothy 4:3-4

There will be a moral decay in our society.

But mark this: There will be terrible times in the last days. People will be lovers of themselves, lovers of money, boastful, proud, abusive, disobedient to their parents, ungrateful, unholy, without love, unforgiving, slanderous, without self-control, brutal, not lovers of the good, treacherous, rash, conceited, lovers of pleasure rather than lovers of God

2 Timothy 3:1-4

WHAT DID JESUS SAY ABOUT THE END TIMES?

It will be a world devoid of peace, with wars and threats of wars.

As Jesus was sitting on the Mount of Olives, the disciples came to him privately. “Tell us,” they said, “when will this happen, and what will be the sign of your coming and of the end of the age?” You will hear of wars and rumors of wars, but see to it that you are not alarmed. Such things must happen, but the end is still to come.

Matthew 24:3,6

There will be an increase in false prophets.

At that time many will turn away from the faith and will betray and hate each other, and many false prophets will appear and deceive many people.

Matthew 24:10-11

Nobody knows when Jesus will come back, but we can be certain He will.

“But about that day or hour no one knows, not even the angels in heaven, nor the Son, but only the Father.

Matthew 24:36

WHAT DOES THIS MEAN FOR US TODAY?

BE READY FOR HIS RETURN

And now, dear children, continue in him, so that when he appears we may be confident and unashamed before him at his coming.

1 John 2:28

KNOW JESUS PERSONALLY

Now this is eternal life: that they know you, the only true God, and Jesus Christ, whom you have sent.

John 17:3

SHARE JESUS REGULARLY

But in your hearts revere Christ as Lord. Always be prepared to give an answer to everyone who asks you to give the reason for the hope that you have. But do this with gentleness and respect,

1 Peter 3:15

The Mountains are Calling: Mount Eremos

This is the fifth sermon in the series, “The Mountains are Calling and I Must Go”. To see all sermons in this series, CLICK HERE.

Mount Eremos plays a significant role in Jesus Christ’s ministry. It is from this mountaintop that Jesus preached the Sermon on the Mount, and where He taught us how to pray.

And when you pray, do not be like the hypocrites, for they love to pray standing in the synagogues and on the street corners to be seen by others. Truly I tell you, they have received their reward in full. But when you pray, go into your room, close the door and pray to your Father, who is unseen. Then your Father, who sees what is done in secret, will reward you. And when you pray, do not keep on babbling like pagans, for they think they will be heard because of their many words. Do not be like them, for your Father knows what you need before you ask him.

Matthew 6:5-8

PRAYER FUNDAMENTALS

#1 – Prayer is not an optional exercise; it is an act of obedience.

In Matthew 6:5, Jesus says, “when you pray”, not “if you pray”. 

#2 – Prayer is not a public expression of piety; it is a personal encounter with the Father.

We are instructed to pray privately, “into a room, close the door and pray to your Father, who is unseen.” (v. 6)

#3 – Prayer is not a mindless repetition of words; it is a meaningful expression of love and trust.

We are instructed not to “keep on babbling like pagans”.

PRAYER PATTERNS

CONNECTION

This, then, is how you should pray: “ ‘Our Father in heaven...

Matthew 6:9

ADORATION

This, then, is how you should pray: “ ‘Our Father in heaven, hallowed be your name,

Matthew 6:9

SUBMISSION

your kingdom come, your will be done, on earth as it is in heaven.

Matthew 6:10

SUPPLICATION

Give us today our daily bread. And forgive us our debts, as we also have forgiven our debtors.

Matthew 6:11-12

PROTECTION

And lead us not into temptation, but deliver us from the evil one.

Matthew 6:13

ADORATION

For Yours is the kingdom, the power, and the glory forever. Amen.

Matthew 6:13

PRAYER TAKEAWAYS

We need each other in this world.
Learn the difference between wants and needs.
Forgiveness is a two-way street.
Life can be hard sometimes, but God is faithful.

The Mountains are Calling: Mount of Olives

This is the fourth sermon in the series, “The Mountains are Calling and I Must Go”. To see all sermons in this series, CLICK HERE.

The last time we climbed the Mount of Olives, it was to witness Jesus preparing for His crucifixion, praying to God, and being betrayed by Judas. This time, Jesus returns to the Mount of Olives after His resurrection, appearing to His disciples to give them a message of anticipation and hope, that He will come again.

There are 2,163 references in the Bible to the Second Coming of Christ. For every one reference about His first coming, there are eight prophecies about His Second Coming.

DIFFERENCES BETWEEN RAPTURE & SECOND COMING

RAPTURE

  • At the Rapture, believers meet the Lord in the air. (1 Thess. 4:17)
  • The Rapture occurs before the great and terrible tribulation. (1 Thess. 5:9; Rev. 3:10)
  • The Rapture is the removal of believers from earth as an act of deliverance. (1 Thess. 4:13-17;5:9)
  • The Rapture is secret and instant. (1 Corin. 15:50-54)
  • The Rapture is imminent; it could take place at any moment. (Titus 2:13; 1 Corin. 15:50-54)

SECOND COMING

  • At the Second Coming, believers return with the Lord to the earth. (1 Thess. 4:17)
  • The Second Coming occurs after the great and terrible tribulation. (Rev. 6-19)
  • The Second Coming includes the removal of unbelievers as an act of judgment. (Matt. 24:40-41)
  • The Second Coming will be visible to all. (Rev. 1:7; Matt. 24:29-30)
  • The Second Coming will not occur until after certain events take place. (2 Thess. 2:1-5; Matt. 24:15-30)

BIBLICAL SIGNS OF THE SECOND COMING

#1 - DECEPTION AND FALSE TEACHERS

As Jesus was sitting on the Mount of Olives, the disciples came to him privately. “Tell us,” they said, “when will this happen, and what will be the sign of your coming and of the end of the age?” Jesus answered: “Watch out that no one deceives you. For many will come in my name, claiming, ‘I am the Messiah,’ and will deceive many. And many false prophets will appear and deceive many people.

Matthew 24:3-5,11

#2 - WORLD-WIDE WARS AND CONFLICT

You will hear of wars and rumors of wars, but see to it that you are not alarmed. Such things must happen, but the end is still to come. Nation will rise against nation, and kingdom against kingdom. There will be famines and earthquakes in various places.

Matthew 24:6-7

#3 - NATURAL DISASTERS AND PHENOMENA

Nation will rise against nation, and kingdom against kingdom. There will be famines and earthquakes in various places. Immediately after the distress of those days “ ‘the sun will be darkened, and the moon will not give its light; the stars will fall from the sky, and the heavenly bodies will be shaken.’ “Then will appear the sign of the Son of Man in heaven. And then all the peoples of the earth will mourn when they see the Son of Man coming on the clouds of heaven, with power and great glory.

Matthew 24:7, 29-30

#4- CHRISTIANS WILL FACE EVER-INCREASING PERSECUTION

Then you will be handed over to be persecuted and put to death, and you will be hated by all nations because of me.

Matthew 24:9

#5 - GREAT FALLING AWAY FROM THE FAITH

At that time many will turn away from the faith and will betray and hate each other

Matthew 24:10

#6- SIN WILL RUN OUT OF CONTROL

Because of the increase of wickedness, the love of most will grow cold

Matthew 24:12

#7 - THE GOSPEL WILL BE REACHED ALL AROUND THE WORLD

And this gospel of the kingdom will be preached in the whole world as a testimony to all nations, and then the end will come.

Matthew 24:14

#8 - ANTI-CHRIST WILL RISE AND DEMAND TO BE WORSHIPPED AS GOD

“So when you see standing in the holy place ‘the abomination that causes desolation,’ spoken of through the prophet Daniel—let the reader understand—

Matthew 24:15

#9 - GREAT TORMENT OF THE NATION OF ISRAEL

For then there will be great distress, unequaled from the beginning of the world until now—and never to be equaled again. “If those days had not been cut short, no one would survive, but for the sake of the elect those days will be shortened.

Matthew 24:21-22

#10 - NO ONE KNOWS WHEN IT WILL OCCUR

“But about that day or hour no one knows, not even the angels in heaven, nor the Son, but only the Father.

Matthew 24:36

HOW TO LIVE

So then, let us not be like others, who are asleep, but let us be awake and sober. For those who sleep, sleep at night, and those who get drunk, get drunk at night. But since we belong to the day, let us be sober, putting on faith and love as a breastplate, and the hope of salvation as a helmet.

1 Thessalonians 5:6-8

WE ARE TO BE ON GUARD

WE ARE TO BE ALERT

WE ARE TO BE READY

The Mountains are Calling: Mount Calvary

This is the third sermon in the series, “The Mountains are Calling and I Must Go”. To see all sermons in this series, CLICK HERE.

Easter Sunday. The day we celebrate and remember the promise fulfilled, the resurrection of Jesus Christ three days after His crucifixion. In order to fully understand and appreciate the resurrection, we must first understand and appreciate the crucifixion and all that Jesus went through on Mount Calvary.

They brought Jesus to the place called Golgotha (which means “the place of the skull”). Then they offered him wine mixed with myrrh, but he did not take it. And they crucified him. Dividing up his clothes, they cast lots to see what each would get. It was nine in the morning when they crucified him. The written notice of the charge against him read: the king of the jews. They crucified two rebels with him, one on his right and one on his left.

Mark 15:22-27

UNDERSTANDING THE ANGUISH OF JESUS ON THE CROSS

JESUS SUFFERED PHYSICAL ANGUISH ON THE CROSS

  • Jesus was beaten and flogged (Mark 14:65)
  • A crown of thorns was pressed on His head. (John 19:1)
  • He had to carry His own cross. (John 19:17)
  • Stretching out His hands on the cross, they drove nails into His hands. (Mark 15:24)
  • They drove nails into His feet and placed them on a platform so He could breathe. (Mark 15:24)
  • Jesus lasted six hours on the cross. (Matthew 27:45-50)

JESUS SUFFERED EMOTIONAL ANGUISH ON THE CROSS

  • Judas betrayed Jesus with a kiss. (Luke 22:48)
  • Peter denied Jesus three times. (Luke 22:60)
  • All the disciples abandoned Jesus. (Mark 14:50)
  • Jesus was tried and convicted by the religious leaders. (Luke 22:66)
  • Jesus was thrown into a dungeon before facing Herod and Pilate. (Matthew 26:57)

JESUS SUFFERED SPIRITUAL ANGUISH ON THE CROSS

  • At Jesus’ birth, wise men came to worship Him. (Matthew 2:1-2)
  • At Jesus’ baptism, the Lord said, “This is my Son in whom I am well pleased.” (Matthew 3:17)
  • When Jesus prays, He prays to His Father in heaven. (Matthew 26:39)
  • On the cross, Jesus experienced separation from His Father. (Mark 15:34)

WHAT WAS NAILED TO THE CROSS

A SIGN WAS NAILED TO THE CROSS

There they crucified him, and with him two others—one on each side and Jesus in the middle. Pilate had a notice prepared and fastened to the cross. It read: jesus of nazareth, the king of the jews. Many of the Jews read this sign, for the place where Jesus was crucified was near the city, and the sign was written in Aramaic, Latin and Greek. The chief priests of the Jews protested to Pilate, “Do not write ‘The King of the Jews,’ but that this man claimed to be king of the Jews.” Pilate answered, “What I have written, I have written.”

John 19:18-22

GOD’S SON WAS NAILED TO THE CROSS

Fellow Israelites, listen to this: Jesus of Nazareth was a man accredited by God to you by miracles, wonders and signs, which God did among you through him, as you yourselves know. This man was handed over to you by God’s deliberate plan and foreknowledge; and you, with the help of wicked men, put him to death by nailing him to the cross. But God raised him from the dead, freeing him from the agony of death, because it was impossible for death to keep its hold on him.

Acts 2:22-24

OUR SIN WAS NAILED TO THE CROSS

When you were dead in your sins and in the uncircumcision of your flesh, God made you alive with Christ. He forgave us all our sins, having canceled the charge of our legal indebtedness, which stood against us and condemned us; he has taken it away, nailing it to the cross. And having disarmed the powers and authorities, he made a public spectacle of them, triumphing over them by the cross.

Colossians 2:13-15

The Mountains are Calling: Mount of Olives

This is the second sermon in the series, “The Mountains are Calling and I Must Go”. To see all sermons in this series, CLICK HERE.

The Mount of Olives is an example of a mountaintop experience that is more challenging than celebratory. Some mountaintops we enjoy and some we endure, but we never stop climbing.

Jesus went out as usual to the Mount of Olives, and his disciples followed him. On reaching the place, he said to them, “Pray that you will not fall into temptation.” He withdrew about a stone’s throw beyond them, knelt down and prayed, “Father, if you are willing, take this cup from me; yet not my will, but yours be done.” An angel from heaven appeared to him and strengthened him. And being in anguish, he prayed more earnestly, and his sweat was like drops of blood falling to the ground. When he rose from prayer and went back to the disciples, he found them asleep, exhausted from sorrow. “Why are you sleeping?” he asked them. “Get up and pray so that you will not fall into temptation.” Jesus Arrested While he was still speaking a crowd came up, and the man who was called Judas, one of the Twelve, was leading them. He approached Jesus to kiss him.

Luke 22:39-47

A couple day prior to this, Judas, one of the Twelve Disciples, went to the Sanhedrin and agreed to turn Jesus over to them for a sum of money. Jesus later had the Passover meal with His disciples – the Lord’s Supper – and told His disciples that one of them would betray Him.

Jesus knew what was about to happen. He knew the steps were in motion that would ultimately lead to His arrest, crucifixion, and finally, His resurrection. 

Even though He knew the resurrection would occur, Jesus had real, raw, human emotions and needed to be alone with His Father in prayer.

TWO TRUTHS FROM THE MOUNT OF OLIVES

VICTORIES WON IN PRIVATE BUILD COURAGE IN PUBLIC

Verse 39 tells us that Jesus went up to the Mount of Olives to pray “as usual”. This was not the first time He went away to pray.

In Luke 5:15-16, we see Jesus healing people, “but Jesus often withdrew to lonely places and prayed.

After being approached by the Pharisees about healing on the Sabbath, Luke 6:12 says, “One of those days Jesus went out to a mountainside to pray, and spent the night praying to God.

FOLLOWING JESUS IS NOT ALWAYS GOING TO BE EASY, BUT IT IS ALWAYS GOING TO BE WORTH IT

When Jesus went up to the Mount of Olives to pray, His disciples followed Him.

Jesus doesn’t promise us happiness. In fact, in John 16, He tells us that there will be trials, but we can rest assured that He has overcome. “I have told you these things, so that in me you may have peace. In this world you will have trouble. But take heart! I have overcome the world.” (John 16:33)

BIBLICAL PRINCIPLES ABOUT SUFFERING

#1 – SUFFERING IS UNIVERSAL AND UNAVOIDABLE

You, however, know all about my teaching, my way of life, my purpose, faith, patience, love, endurance, persecutions, sufferings—what kinds of things happened to me in Antioch, Iconium and Lystra, the persecutions I endured. Yet the Lord rescued me from all of them. In fact, everyone who wants to live a godly life in Christ Jesus will be persecuted,

2 Timothy 3:10-12

#2 – SUFFERING IS NOT A JUDGMENT FOR SIN

Because he himself suffered when he was tempted, he is able to help those who are being tempted.

Hebrew 2:18

For we do not have a high priest who is unable to empathize with our weaknesses, but we have one who has been tempted in every way, just as we are—yet he did not sin.

Hebrew 4:15

#3 – SUFFERING IS TEMPORARY

And the God of all grace, who called you to his eternal glory in Christ, after you have suffered a little while, will himself restore you and make you strong, firm and steadfast.

1 Peter 5:10

Keep your lives free from the love of money and be content with what you have, because God has said, “Never will I leave you; never will I forsake you.” So we say with confidence, “The Lord is my helper; I will not be afraid. What can mere mortals do to me?”

Hebrew 13:5-6

#4 – IN THE MIDST OF SUFFERING, IT’S OK TO ASK “WHY?”

I loathe my very life; therefore I will give free rein to my complaint and speak out in the bitterness of my soul. say to God: Do not declare me guilty, but tell me what charges you have against me. Does it please you to oppress me, to spurn the work of your hands, while you smile on the plans of the wicked?

Job 10:1-3

TAKEAWAYS FROM THE MOUNTAINTOP OF SUFFERING

When we find ourselves on the mountaintop of suffering,

IF WE WILL PRAY

When we find ourselves on the mountaintop of suffering,

IF WE WILL YIELD

WE ARE ABLE TO FACE

whatever meets us on the mountain.